7.21.2007

Are You A "Mary" Or A "Martha"?

Every time I hear this story of these two sisters, I cannot help but reflect on how it relates to my life. It is no secret that most of us consider ourselves to be busy people today. We want to see our dreams fulfilled, so we strive to make our lives perfect, at least as perfect as we humans can make them. However, we cannot lose sight of putting ourselves into the presence of the Lord.

"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things." Boy, that sure sounds like me. I am certain that many of you can relate to me when I say that. By nature, I am a busy person. I like to see the fruits of my labor. I like to be complimented on a task well done. But, who do I do the task for? I am afraid that if I am honest, I would have to say that many times it is me. Often, I bring that question from the Baltimore Catechecism to my mind and to the reflection of the faithful. You know the one, "Why did God make you?" The answer is, “God made me to know him, to love him and to serve him in this world and to be happy with him forever in the next.” God DID NOT make me to know myself, to love myself, and to serve myself.

I remember growing up in the 70's and seeing a TV commercial which asserted "BE YOURSELF." While I do not have any problem with being happy with whom God made us to be individually, I think the message was misinterpreted in many respects to mean that I am the most important. Look around, what kind of world do we live in today? Is our society one that is thankful for the blessings that are bestowed on us by God? Frankly, I am amazed at how little Church attendance there is on Thanksgiving Day. Like many national holidays, people can not wait to take time off and relax. Do we need to be reminded what that day is for in the first place?

All in all, I would have to agree with Jesus (surprise, surprise) when He says "Mary has chosen the better part." Mary was not lazy -- she was focused on the important part of life in the Lord. Truth be told, the Lord calls us to be both Martha and Mary at different times in our lives to enhance the world in which we live. It is up to us to prioritize which person we are and when.